Zespri Gisborne-Tairawhiti surf lifeguard award winners announced

Saturday, 30 June 2018

The annual Gisborne- Tairawhiti Surf Life Saving regional awards of excellence have seen nearly 30 awards presented to surf lifeguards and club members for their tireless efforts over the 2017-18 patrol season.

Held as part of Surf Life Saving New Zealand's (SLSNZ) awards season, the evening celebrated all the clubs in the region including Wainui, Waikanae and Midway, Ngati Porou and Tolaga Bay Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC).

Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club took home the majority of the awards, being presented with 11 of the local awards including BP rescue of the year, club of the year and volunteer lifeguard of the year.

Andrew Shelton from Waikanae SLSC took home the prestigious Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year award after he carried out 70 hours of voluntary patrols over the summer season, acted as Patrol Captain and helped put nine drivers through their IRB Awards.

Andrew is also a patrol auditor, on the local Gisborne/Tairawhiti Lifesaving Committee, an instructor as well as an active Infatable Rescue Boat [IRB] and Surf Lifeguard Award [SLA] examiner which shows the huge amount of time and effort he put into keeping people and lifeguards safe.

Waikanae SLSC had another big win with members Connor Mitchell, Oliver Shivnan, Mitch Mitchell, Kayla Hutchings and Brighton SLSC member Matthew Walters receiving the respected BP rescue of the year award for a rescue during a training session at 6:30pm on January 8th 2018 at Waikanae Beach.

During the training, Connor and Oliver were alerted to three swimmers in distress only meters off the rocks near the river mouth by surfers, waving to gain attention.

Quickly jumping into action they assessed the treacherous conditions as they neared the people. The strong groundswell, large two-three metre surf conditions, with an outgoing tide and the close proximity to rocks, meant the patients were going to be required to be picked up one at a time.

Upon reaching the patients, now less than 10 metres offshore from treacherous rocks, the first female patient, who was identified as climbing the ladder mere seconds from drowning, was rescued first. A rescue tube was thrown at the remaining two patients to assist with flotation until a further pickup could be made, which was successfully done and three lives saved.

One of the supreme awards - Volunteer of the Year - was awarded to David Corrin from Midway SLSC, who is often referred to as Dave. The purpose of this award is to recognise an outstanding member who has made a significant volunteer contribution to enhancing surf lifesaving within their local area during the patrol season.

Throughout the season, Dave volunteered 61.5 hours on patrol as a patrol captain, was the Chairman of Midway SLSC, a member of the local sport committee, team manager for the Gisborne/Tairawhiti representative team, the unofficial gear steward for the Gisborne/Tairawhiti surf sports equipment, leader of the work party at the TSB SLSNZ Nationals and the Eastland Port Champion of the Bays where he would work in excess of 10-12 hours per day.

SLSNZ Eastern Region Manager, Chris Emmett, said it was the perfect opportunity to give thanks to all the lifeguards and club members for their work throughout year.

"We are so proud to hear all the stories and successes from around the Gisborne- Tairawhiti area. In a region that is known for its amazing beaches and surf conditions, surf lifeguards are absolutely vital to making sure everyone stays safe, and they all make such a huge contribution in doing so. From the lifeguards who patrol the beaches, to coaches, sports people and everyone in between, they all play in part in keeping these beaches safe and enjoyable.

"Plus, we're proud to say we have some amazing winners who have every chance of winning a national award, which would be great for the region. We also have to thank Zespri for their incredible support of the lifeguards in this region, and of the awards. Their help is so important and we really appreciate it."

Every year, regional Awards of Excellence ceremonies are held around the country to officially recognise members for their hard work and dedication to Surf Life Saving in New Zealand before culminating at the National Awards of Excellence held this year in Auckland.

Awards of Excellence - Gisborne- Tairāwhiti Winners

Emerging Coach of the Year
Sonia Keepa - Wainui SLSC

Coach of the Year
Dion Williams - Wainui SLSC

McLeod Emerging Official of the Year
Peter Simmons - Wainui SLSC

McLeod Official of the Year
Debbie Hutchings - Waikanae SLSC

Sports Team of the Year
Midway U12 Women's Pool Relay Team - Jodiesha Kirkpatrick, Kassie Owen, Petiata Bowden & Sophie Petro

Sports Person of the Year - Under-14 Male
Jack Keepa - Wainui SLSC

U14 Sportswoman of the year
Joint winners - Chloe Kapene (Waikanae) & Sophie Petro (Midway)

Sports Person of the Year - Under-16 Male
Michael Pickett - Waikanae SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Under-16 Female
Briana Irving - Waikanae SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Under-19 Male
Jordan Mclarin - Waikanae SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Under-19 Female
Olivia Corrin - Midway SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Open Male
Cory Taylor - Midway SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Open Female
Casie Fyall - Waikanae SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Masters Male
Rob Fergus - Midway SLSC

Sports Person of the Year - Masters Female
Sonia Keepa - Wainui SLSC

Best International Performance (Individual)
Olivia Corrin - Midway SLSC

Under-19 Lifeguard of the Year
Louis Birkhead - Wainui SLSC

Pacific Medicare Volunteer Lifeguard of the Year
Andrew Shelton - Waikanae SLSC

Regional Lifeguard of the Year
Colby Putnam - Wainui SLSC

Patrol Captain of the Year
Eric Clearwater - Waikanae SLSC

Instructor of the Year
Michelle Mitchell - Waikanae SLSC

Beach Ed Instructor of the Year
Sonia Keepa - Wainui SLSC

Examiner of the Year
Jeremy Lockwood - Wainui SLSC

Volunteer of the Year
David Corrin - Midway SLSC

BP Rescue of the Year
Waikanae - January 2018 Rescue

Patrol Club of the Year
Waikanae SLSC

Zespri Club of the Year
Waikanae SLSC

Eastern Region Service Award
Belinda Slement - Wainui SLSC

SLSNZ_Awards Evening 2017-5413

For more information, please contact:

Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157